Swim. Swim. Swimming at last with the clouds above the earth, below the stars, and all the space in between, bright. The sun reflects and retracts the steps of my days to the darkness of the moon and then he kisses me as the promise in his grin because he finds me humorous and adorable. I leap to the charade and like a mime in a mirror copy his every move, mocking him only to cherish and claim my affection for him. Agreeably, he smiles amused by my nonsense and only kisses me harder, holding onto me tighter. No escape to the abyss. I am his and for that moment he is mine, trapped in my hold, in my gaze, in the locking of the lips. The air we breathe and exhale unanimously, a routine of our existence.
“Hi,” Cedric drops his chem textbook on my desk, purposely making the loudest noise, announcing his presence and waking me from another daydream. His curly hair intercepting a direct view of his green-blueish eyes, the colour of still water in the dusk, but they are everchanging, shifting like Cedric’s mood. My qualm. My demise. Cedric and his flirtatious ways yet erratic, yet roaring and whimsical. The chase I can never win. “Earth to Keon,” Cedric voice, loud and strong.
“Yes. Hi,” I stutter.
“Let’s go. Study time is over,” and he twists his body, an indication to move, pulling me with his stare.
“Yeah. I’m coming.” Many times I have shoved the notes to my books without care to please the haste of Cedric’s requests, to have an excuse to drop my stare and avoid looking at his face.
“Better be,” and he teases, grabbing my pencil and spinning it on his palm as I assemble myself to leave, checking my bed for my cell phone. “Leave it,” he advises with a slightly mischievous smirk.
“Yeah,” agreeing for the sake of agreeing. My constant stumble of words. The petrifying feeling of nervousness around someone whom I entirely adore. How do I stop my knees from shaking, my voice from cracking, my heart from jumping? As the door swings back to its frame, by chance, I catch Cedric’s sleeve and as fast remove my hand from touching him, but he wraps his fingers around my wrist, pulling me to follow as we race down the stairs as two prisoners escaping their cell, evading obstacles with ease. The thorough blueprint memorized to every detail because Cedric has done this many times before, rushing out the front door.
“Here. At last,” he stops in the middle of the garden as the rain pours over us. His shoes tossed to the wet grass. “Isn’t this marvelous?” Cheering to the gods of rain, as if raining was a miracle that gods only bestowed on us. But, that’s how Cedric is, finding beauty in the simplest of things, marveling the ordinary and uncomplicated, always able to establish that everything has its reason, its purpose, no matter how small it may be. “You are a marvel,” he looks at me. The look of poise, definition, and punctuation. “You are a marvel. We are a marvel,” and like a mad man shouting, “We are a marvel!” Raising his hands to the sky, tilting his head back, screaming, “Ahhhh!” Like prayer and praise to his gods.
My bare feet planted to the ground like planks glued together and in a meek voice I utter with complete delight, “You are my chaos,” but Cedric’s rambunctious joy is an indication of what to come next. There is only one direction from every high; the acute fall, the chronic and cancerous plunge to darkness and doubt. But, every moment of elevation is a treasure and I let Cedric exist in his state. Let him marvel and fertilize the joy of our existence. With his predictability, I know his next move, as he rushes towards the pool and jumps in, shorts and T-shirt on, careless and free. I, of course, follow.
The warmth of spring turning into summer cleanses our souls and I submerge underwater, embracing the heaviness as I push through the resistance to be near Cedric. The playful splash and another and in an instant quiet. His smile fades, his laughter subsides, his eyes turn gold and serious but loving. “You are…” and he takes one small step towards me, pressing with vague force his lips to mine.
Startled, I withdraw before giving in to the attraction of Cedric’s gravity, pulled into the gulf of mystery and tranquility.
“You are… my phenomenon,” and he covers his lower lip with his upper one. “Did you expect it?”
I shake my head, “No… I didn’t think…”
“That I like you?”
The sun and the moon collide and the darkness falls upon the planets but we survive sailing in space towards the stars. There is hope to see the light again. It never dies, only travels in varying speeds through different mediums.
I might be the vacuum staying consistent and Cedric may be the velocity that undoubtfully changes, but in the void, the speed intensifies and the light shines the brightest. I am the calm that lets the chaos pass and the only thing that remains is the beauty of the flame as it drifts through space guiding brightly and inevitably and we swim at last, floating above the earth, below the stars, among the clouds. The in-between nothingness and everything.
© Jacob Greb — 2019
first appeared in The Piker Press magazine
return to Story Teller
inspired by song “Light” by Sleeping at Last